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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GARRETT. I thank the CBC for actually coming to the floor with a budget, something that the President of the United States has not been able to do four out of five times, even though it is the law of the land that he is required to do so. So I commend them for doing so.

We should look to see what is it that we agree with in this and what do we disagree with. We do agree on several points, such as that we want to have a just and fair Tax Code. We do agree, as we have in our budget, to make sure that we address the most vulnerable, those people who are out of work, the poor in the country, those who are trying hard to make ends meet, to try to end poverty as well, to try to make sure that there is health care in this country. But where we differ from the CBC is the impact that their budget would have on each and every one of these.

Their budget would have a devastating impact on those who are out of work, those who are trying to not just get a handout, but get a hand up; those who are looking for health care and not being able to afford it; those who are looking for health care from the Federal Government and realizing that within a short period of time, over the next decade, we will see, actually, the money in the Federal Government for the health care that they're receiving right now basically run out.

So that is why I applaud their attempt to come to the floor with a budget. But I ask them to take a look at what the impact of their budget will do as opposed to what the Republican budget will do. We will actually be able to create jobs in this country. We did so before in something called the JOBS Act, which we passed in a bipartisan manner.

We are going to take the next step to make sure that there is a level playing field in this country versus other countries, to bring back those jobs that have been lost to other foreign nations and bring them back into this country as well. We will be able to reform the system with regard to the poor. We will be able to provide for a system that provides for the American family in a fair and just Tax Code.


Mr. GARRETT. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today, as they say, in opposition to the Progressive Caucus substitute. While my friends across the aisle are motivated by good intentions, I believe that their substitute is, frankly, a blueprint for fiscal disaster. Instead of restoring the certainty to the economy by promoting fairness and providing American families the opportunity for more prosperity, this budget is simply a black hole for American families.

I can at least give credit to both the Progressive Caucus and the Democrat Caucus for offering a budget because the President of the United States has failed to do so. As you are aware, on February 4, the President, as required by law, is to give us a budget. It's March 20 now; and the American people, well, we're still waiting. That is the fourth time in 5 years that President Obama has failed to submit a budget on time and failed to abide by the law.

The Senate Democrats, well, they're not much better. It has taken them almost 4 years to produce a budget that basically now increases government spending by $265 billion, taxes up by almost $1 trillion, and cuts health care providers by almost $300 billion. Over the period covered by the budget, deficits under the Senate plan are nearly $4 trillion larger than those under the House plan.

So, today, we have a Progressive substitute on the floor. This budget will do what? It will raise taxes by almost $6 trillion over the next 10 years, including a new tax on carbon. $5.7 trillion in new taxes necessarily means greater tax burdens on who? The American family. These tax cuts put job creators in the penalty box again, and that means more Americans will be where? Without jobs.

These tax policies are deceptively sold under, really, a warped notion of what ``fairness'' is. The reality is this ``fairness'' of theirs is merely a heavy-handed government taking from one pocket and putting in another pocket.

This budget's tax policy is based on the equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity. When he's talking about equality, Milton Friedman once pointed out that a society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality, however, will get a high degree of both.

So true fairness is the freedom to manage and direct one's own life and one's own future. Those who take risks giving their all in the pursuit of the American Dream deserve to keep what they've earned. Those who work hard day in and day out, they deserve to keep what they've earned.

But the Progressive budget is nothing but regressive. There's nothing fair about this budget, especially to the risk-taker or to the hardworking American family. Their budget would spend nearly $9 trillion more than the Republican budget. Note, now, when I say those numbers--where does that money come from--that means from our children and our grandchildren. They ultimately will be the ones who will have to bear this burden.

This budget would also establish a government-run health insurance option under ObamaCare and let the government basically set price controls on drugs. What does that mean? That means for those who were around back in 1970s, I think that's most of us, price controls on gasoline. How did that work out for us? Not too long. Waiting lines for gas is one thing. Waiting lines, however, for lifesaving medicine is a whole other story.

This budget would also expand the current, broken, and failed Federal job-training program without any reform whatsoever. This budget calls for even more money for the bureaucrats in Washington with regard to education, and this budget calls for even more money into the broken-down highway transit system that we have in this country.

And this budget even fails in the government's first responsibility--providing for the common defense. This budget further goes and guts the Defense Department by calling for almost $700 billion in cuts to the Pentagon compared to our budget.

This Progressive substitute then would put this country basically on the wrong path. For that reason, I urge a ``no'' vote on this budget.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Chairman, so here we are at the end of the debate, and where are we?

The Progressive substitute, what would it do? It would raise taxes on the American family. It would increase spending throughout the country. It would put programs such as Medicare, to allow them to go bankrupt, if you will, within the decade, in 2023. It would do all this and put the burden on our children and never, ever balance.

In contrast, before us is the House Republican's Path to Prosperity. What does it do? It takes the first step. It takes the very first step toward reversing this trend, this path to debt and decline that the President and his fellow Democrats on that side of the aisle, and the Senate Democrats as well, have laid out for the American people. See, the Republican budget stops spending money that we do not have. The Republican budget simply does the right things in this area.

The Republican budget fixes our broken Tax Code. It does away with all of those unfair corporate deductions and the like that we've talked about. There is some commonality there. So it fixes our broken Tax Code, and it does so in a way at the end of the day creates jobs, increases wages, and helps the American family. The Republican budget will protect and strengthen important priorities like Medicare and national security, not allowed by the other side of the aisle. The Republican budget will also reform our welfare programs, such as Medicaid, so they can actually deliver on their promise and not go bankrupt.

Every American family, every family in this country understands the necessity of having a balanced budget. The President and the Democrats could surely learn by talking to them across the country. Budgets are more than numbers. Budgets basically come here to Congress and set priorities, if you will; and beyond that, they have real impact on human beings.

Unlike the Progressive substitute that's before us right now, the Path to Prosperity will provide real economic security for workers, for parents. It will ensure security retirement for the elderly and our seniors. It will expand opportunity for the young. For that reason, I urge this Chamber to vote on the side of freedom and opportunity and reject the Progressive Caucus budget substitute.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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